Sunstroke and heatstroke

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Spending too much time at a high temperature can cause dehydration. This can cause a sunstroke. A sunstroke can develop into a heatstroke. This is a life-threatening condition in which the body is unable to regulate its temperature.

Symptoms of a sunstroke

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Normal or slightly raised temperature    

Symptoms of a heatstroke

  • Headache
  • High fever, sometimes up to 41 °C
  • Nausea
  • Warm, dry, red skin
  • Constricted pupils
  • A fast pulse and difficulty breathing

Ultimately, confusion and loss of consciousness can occur. The risk is greater for young children, the elderly and people with health conditions.

Prevention

Water

Drink plenty of water when it is warm, even if you are not thirsty.

Sun

Avoid the full sun.

Intense exertion

Avoid intense exertion at high temperatures.

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